429.19 Violations; imposition of administrative fines; grounds.—
(1) In addition to the requirements of part II of chapter 408, the agency shall impose an administrative fine in the manner provided in chapter 120 for the violation of any provision of this part, part II of chapter 408, and applicable rules by an assisted living facility, for the actions of any person subject to level 2 background screening under s. 408.809, for the actions of any facility employee, or for an intentional or negligent act seriously affecting the health, safety, or welfare of a resident of the facility.
(2) Each violation of this part and adopted rules shall be classified according to the nature of the violation and the gravity of its probable effect on facility residents. The agency shall indicate the classification on the written notice of the violation as follows:
(a) Class “I” violations are defined in s. 408.813. The agency shall impose an administrative fine for a cited class I violation in an amount not less than $5,000 and not exceeding $10,000 for each violation.
(b) Class “II” violations are defined in s. 408.813. The agency shall impose an administrative fine for a cited class II violation in an amount not less than $1,000 and not exceeding $5,000 for each violation.
(c) Class “III” violations are defined in s. 408.813. The agency shall impose an administrative fine for a cited class III violation in an amount not less than $500 and not exceeding $1,000 for each violation.
(d) Class “IV” violations are defined in s. 408.813. The agency shall impose an administrative fine for a cited class IV violation in an amount not less than $100 and not exceeding $200 for each violation.
(e) Regardless of the class of violation cited, instead of the fine amounts listed in paragraphs (a)-(d), the agency shall impose an administrative fine of $500 if a facility is found not to be in compliance with the background screening requirements as provided in s. 408.809.
(3) For purposes of this section, in determining if a penalty is to be imposed and in fixing the amount of the fine, the agency shall consider the following factors:
(a) The gravity of the violation, including the probability that death or serious physical or emotional harm to a resident will result or has resulted, the severity of the action or potential harm, and the extent to which the provisions of the applicable laws or rules were violated.
(b) Actions taken by the owner or administrator to correct violations.
(c) Any previous violations.
(d) The financial benefit to the facility of committing or continuing the violation.
(e) The licensed capacity of the facility.
(4) Each day of continuing violation after the date fixed for termination of the violation, as ordered by the agency, constitutes an additional, separate, and distinct violation.
(5) Any action taken to correct a violation shall be documented in writing by the owner or administrator of the facility and verified through followup visits by agency personnel. The agency may impose a fine and, in the case of an owner-operated facility, revoke or deny a facility’s license when a facility administrator fraudulently misrepresents action taken to correct a violation.
(6) Any facility whose owner fails to apply for a change-of-ownership license in accordance with part II of chapter 408 and operates the facility under the new ownership is subject to a fine of $5,000.
(7) In addition to any administrative fines imposed, the agency may assess a survey fee, equal to the lesser of one half of the facility’s biennial license and bed fee or $500, to cover the cost of conducting initial complaint investigations that result in the finding of a violation that was the subject of the complaint or monitoring visits conducted to verify the correction of the violations.
(8) During an inspection, the agency shall make a reasonable attempt to discuss each violation with the owner or administrator of the facility, prior to written notification.
(9) The agency shall develop and disseminate an annual list of all facilities sanctioned or fined for violations of state standards, the number and class of violations involved, the penalties imposed, and the current status of cases. The list shall be disseminated, at no charge, to the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the area agencies on aging, the Florida Statewide Advocacy Council, the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and state and local ombudsman councils. The Department of Children and Families shall disseminate the list to service providers under contract to the department who are responsible for referring persons to a facility for residency. The agency may charge a fee commensurate with the cost of printing and postage to other interested parties requesting a copy of this list. This information may be provided electronically or through the agency’s Internet site.